The 5th Annual Doctor Who Varsity Quiz 2019

Image Credit: Robin Bunce

Image Description: The Oxford WhoSoc Varsity Quiz Team with Nicholas Briggs

Back for the Fifth Anniversary Showdown, two WhoSocs battle it out in this titanic quiz, written by James Ashworth and Robin Bunce

On Saturday 11th May 2019, the WhoSocs of both Oxford and Cambridge gathered for their annual battle of wits. However, it was to be no ordinary contest. Cambridge, having won the quiz in its first two incarnations, had been on a losing streak, leading to the overall series tied two all between the societies. Furthermore, to celebrate the fifth anniversary, the quiz was to be hosted by none other than Nicholas Briggs, voice of the Daleks/Cybermen/Zygon/pretty much every major monster (delete as appropriate). There was even a trophy at stake! As a result, the tension was palpable as the Oxford and Cambridge teams gathered in front of an audience inside Homerton College. Would Oxford take the lead for the first time, or would Cambridge return to the top of the league? After the pleasantries had concluded, the quiz began…

Doctors 1-4

  1. The actor behind which companion knocked themselves out by running into a tree during their first story? 
  2. Which missing episode was shown on an often missing day? 
  3. Which story first mentions a mind probe? 
  4. In which story did both the actors who have played Craddock appear together? 
  5. In The Sontaran Experiment, how many survivors were there initially from the GalSec ship?
  6. Paddy Russell was the first female director on Doctor Who. The Underwater Menace was directed by the second, but what was her name? 
  7. The 4th Doctor’s Twitch Trailer was changed part way through the initial marathon. As such, name both the stories that featured at the start of each: 
  8. What accident happened to a drunk Yeti during filming of The Abominable Snowmen

Insufficient Data, Master-You will be presented with a week’s worth of episodes, with the dates of broadcast removed. Your opposing team will pick a number from 1-7, and using the episodes, please tell me which day and month the episodes in question were broadcast on:

The Slave Traders, Terror of the Autons 3

Spearhead from Space 3, The Brain Of Morbius 3, Warrior’s Gate 3

The Expedition, The Krotons 4, Robot 4

Invasion of the Dinosaurs 2, (Shada Part 1)

The Enemy of the World 5, The Three Doctors 4, The Armageddon Factor 1

The Underwater Menace 2, Underworld 3,

The Abandoned Planet, Day Of The Daleks 4, The Face Of Evil 4

Fury from the Deep 2, The Monster Of Peladon 1

Frontier in Space 5

The Macra Terror 3, The Sea Devils 5

The Bomb, The Talons Of Weng Chiang 5

The Lion, The Claws Of Axos 3

Mighty Kublai Khan, The Ambassadors Of Death 2

The Space Pirates 4, Genesis of the Daleks 4

Doctors 5-8

  1. Which contemporary Doctor, Companion and Master all have the same birthday? 
  2. What was the title of Robert Holmes’s planned 20th anniversary story, parts of which he later reused for The Two Doctors
  3. What is the name of the band featuring composer Keff McCulloch that appears in Delta and the Bannermen
  4. What is the name of the substance that prevented the Vanir from contracting Lazar’s Disease? 
  5. How effective, according to his final estimate, is the security of Hindle’s City in Kinda
  6. Rounded to the nearest whole number, how many times longer is the TV movie than The Night of the Doctor
  7. Which actor, well known for an animated series and appearing in animated form in a Second Doctor story, was originally scheduled to appear as Striker in Enlightenment
  8. Broadcast between Series 22 and 23, give either of the months during which Slipback was broadcast? 
  9. Name any actor who was in the final auditions for the role of the 8th Doctor according to Regeneration, and appeared in either the classic or new series:
  10. Ghost Light was the last story to be filmed in the classic series. But which characters featured in the final scene that was filmed? 

Books and Comics

  1. Dimensions in Time saw Eastenders and Doctor Who cross over for the second time. The show had previously crossed over in the DWM short story Mistaken Identity, but how many years was this before Dimensions
  2. Which two consecutive new adventures have the same name, etymologically speaking? 
  3. Harry Sullivan’s War by Ian Marter is the only book by an actor of a companion/friend of The Doctor to feature that character. Another, called The Killing Stone, was planned, but who would the author have been? 
  4. Which unofficial Doctor was to star in Lawrence Miles’ proposed book The War, in which they would fight the Enemy alongside classic sitcom characters like Norman Stanley Fletcher from Porridge and Captain Mainwaring from Dad’s Army
  5. What alien species is Frobisher, companion of the 6th and 7th Doctors?
  6. In Blood Heat, which of the 3rd Doctor’s stories had a different outcome, leading to the creation of a parallel universe? 
  7. How many times during the Eighth Doctor Adventures does the Doctor lose his memory? 
  8. Which author, later to win the Women’s Prize for Fiction for The Power, wrote the New Series Adventure Borrowed Time
  9. Located in Gloucestershire, Norfolk, Hampshire or Mummerset depending on source, what is the name of the recurring village throughout DWM comics? 
  10. Which classic series companion sacrifices themselves to defeat the Cybermen in The World Shapers

Spinoffs and spoofs

  1. How long does the Master spend in the sewer in The Curse Of Fatal Death
  2. An alternate version of which series 1 character was to recur in Rose Tyler: Earth Defence
  3. It may be 100% organic, but what percentage of people is Bubble Shock ineffective on? 
  4. Name 2 of the 3 companions the Doctor meets in The Ultimate Adventure stage play
  5. Based on a comic drawn by Dave Gibbons, which recently adapted Big Finish audio is based on the first comic in what is now Doctor Who Magazine
  6. Name either of the two episodes of the Sarah Jane Adventures that Trinity Wells appears in
  7. Taking place in the same time and place as Thin Ice, but with the First Doctor, Steven and Vicki, what is the first of Big Finish’s Companion Chronicles called? 
  8. The first episode of the K9 series was broadcast in Australia on the same day of which episode of Doctor Who
  9. In Adrift, what caused Jonah to scream for twenty hours a day? 
  10. What is the name of Tanya’s dad in Class?


Give the first story this console part made its first appearance in:

  1. Immobiliser Circuit
  2. Landing Indicator Bulb
  3. Chameleon Circuit Control Panel
  4. Randomiser
  5. TARDIS Information System
  6. Transmission Jammer
  7. Stattenheim Control
    Give the Medium, and which Doctor’s era, this room of the TARDIS was first introduced with:
  8. TARDIS Zoo
  9. TARDIS Cheese Factory
  10. TARDIS Kitchen
  11. TARDIS Drawing Room
  12. TARDIS Laboratory


  1. According to the classic series, the Sontarans have ONE major weakness. Name all THREE
  2. The 1966 film Dr. Who and the Daleks shows the Dalek City decorated by lava lamps. In which television story do the Cybermen encounter lava lamps? 
  3. Daleks tend to have 56 hemispheres on their skirts. Which story, from the classic series, featured a Dalek with only 52 hemispheres on its skirt? 
  4. One of the costumes created for the Axos monster was reused in a subsequent story. Which story was this, and what was the most obvious way in which the costume had been modified? 
  5. Which creature, featured in the First Doctor’s Second Season, is sometimes considered to be Doctor Who‘s ‘first monster’, as it is neither robotic nor humanoid? It was described in the original script as being ‘like a huge black jelly fish.’
  6. Other than a Dalek and a Cyberman, which TWO monsters were among the first ten products released as part of the Dapol Doctor Who action figure range? 
  7. Between The Smugglers (1965) and Survival (1989) how many Doctor Who stories contained the word ‘Monster’ or ‘Monsters’ in the title? 
  8. Which rare metal does the Doctor use to kill the Vervoids in the penultimate serial of The Trial of a Timelord
  9. The Monster of Peladon was the final Ice Warrior Story of the classic series. There were plans to bring the Ice Warriors back in 1986 and again in 1990. What were the titles of these TWO unmade stories? 
  10. In which London Underground Station are Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart’s forces first attacked by Yeti in The Web of Fear

Oxford, Cambridge and other Universities

  1. The Doctor has a medical degree. Where, according to the Second Doctor, did he study medicine, and in what year does he claim to have completed his degree? 
  2. The Doctor occasionally visits St. Cedd’s College, University of Cambridge to see his friend Professor Urban Chronotis. Which Cambridge College was used for the exterior shots of St Cedd’s during the filming of Shada, and which Cambridge College inspired Douglas Adam’s conception of St Cedd’s? 
  3. Which actor, who played the role of Dr. Who, appeared in the 1944 film The New School, promoting Homerton College, Cambridge? 
  4. At which fictional University did the Twelfth Doctor work as a Professor during his final Season? And which real University was used for the location filming? 
  5. Before leaving Gallifrey, the Doctor graduated from the Time Lord Academy. This question has four parts, you need to get THREE of the parts correct to win the point: (i) Which Chapter of the Academy was the Doctor part of? (ii) what class was he in? (iii) what mark did he get? and (iv) how many attempts did it take him to pass? 
  6. Before meeting the Doctor, Perpugilliam Brown was an American college student. What subject was she majoring in, and where was she studying? 
  7. What is River Song’s Doctorate in, and which University is it from? 
  8. What is the title of the thesis that the Doctor says he wants to write in the first Episode of The Trial of a Time Lord
  9. During the 1996 Doctor Who film, from which academic institution is the Doctor forced to borrow an atomic clock? 
  10. Allison Williams, assistant to Professor Rachel Jensen, wears a College scarf during her appearance in Remembrance of the Daleks. Which Oxford or Cambridge College does the scarf represent? 

Doctors 9-12

  1. Of the 27 Episodes of Doctor Who written by Russell T. Davies between 2005 and 2010 how many passed the Bechdel Test? I will accept a number out of 27, or a percentage (+/-5%): 
  2. Of the 21 Episodes of Doctor Who written by Steven Moffat between 2005 and 2014 how many passed the Bechdel Test? I will accept a number out of 21, or a percentage (+/-5%): 
  3. We first meet Rose’s father in the Episode Father’s Day. What is his name? 
  4. We first meet Martha’s mother in the Episode Smith and Jones. What is her name? 
  5. Between 2005 and 2009, as part of British operations in Afghanistan, Specialist Team Royal Engineers (Water Development) dug 28 wells near Camp Bastion in Helmand Province. How many wells did Danny Pink claim to have dug during his stint as a soldier in Afghanistan?
  6. Excluding the shirt worn in The Eleventh Hour, The Eleventh Doctor wore shirts of two designs during Season 5. The shirts were slightly modified designs by a well known designer. Name that designer
  7. In 2014 the BBC announced that the Twelfth Doctor would be wearing DM boots as part of his costume. This was incorrect. Which company designed the brogue boot worn by the Twelfth Doctor in his first photo call? 
  8. Which Doctor said of himself ‘I am definitely a madman with a box!’, and in which Episode did he use this phrase? 
  9. Which Doctor said of himself, ‘I am an idiot! With a box . . . ‘, and in which Episode did he use this phrase? 
  10. In The Zygon Inversion the Zygon Rebels make a viral video setting out their demands. They begin, ‘We have been betrayed. We were sold. Our rights were violated. We demand the right to be ourselves.’ What two phrases complete their message? 

The Thirteenth Doctor

  1. What are the Thirteenth Doctor’s first words? 
  2. How many distinct bands of colour make up the rainbow that runs horizontally across the Thirteenth Doctor’s top in her first photoshoot? 
  3. In Resolution the Thirteenth Doctor wears a stripy scarf, which well-known designer designed the scarf? 
  4. Which actor, who had been offered the role of the Doctor by RTD but turned it down as he didn’t want to move to Wales, played James I of England in The Witchfinders
  5. In the 1973’s Frontier in Space the Doctor and his companion visited a brutalist building uncannily similar to London’s Southbank Centre. The Doctor and her companions visit another brutalist masterpiece in Arachnids in the UK – name that building. 
  6. Jodie Whittaker was playing a Doctor, masquerading as a nurse, in the TV show Trust Me when she was cast as the Doctor. What was the name of the Doctor she played? 
  7. Which episode in Series 11 did not end with the Doctor Who theme tune? 
  8. Demons of the Punjab was set on the border of India and Pakistan. Where was it filmed? 
  9. Who wrote the incidental music for Season 11 of Doctor Who
  10. The Thirteenth Doctor’s TARDIS has a different exterior from that of previous Doctors. How many designers have designed the TARDIS exterior from scratch? (Modifications, such as those made to the First Doctor’s TARDIS ahead of The War Machines, don’t count.) 

History and Politics

  1. Interviewed in May 1997, shortly before the General Election, Prime Minister John Major revealed his favourite Doctor. Who was John Major’s favourite Doctor? 
  2. Interviewed in May 1997, shortly before the General Election, soon to be Prime Minister Tony Blair revealed his favourite Doctor. Who was Tony Blair’s favourite Doctor? 
  3. The Sun Makers, transmitted in 1977, features a character known as the Collector. Which contemporary British politician was the Collector based on? 
  4. Which villain, encountered by the Seventh Doctor, was inspired by Margaret Thatcher? 
  5. Which former Conservative MP appeared in a commercial endorsing Harold Saxon for Prime Minister? 
  6. One of the Labour Party’s 2010 Party Election Broadcasts featured a former Doctor, and the son of a former Doctor. Name both
  7. In 2013 a YouGov opinion poll surveyed British voters regarding Doctor Who. It found that UKIP voters were extremely keen on the Doctor being played by a white, straight, English man! According to an opinion poll conducted by YouGov in 2013, supporters of which UK Political Party are most interested in Doctor Who?  
  8. According to the same poll, supporters of which UK Political Party are least interested in Doctor Who
  9. According to the same poll, supporters of which UK Political Party (who were also interested in Doctor Who) had most antipathy to Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor? 
  10. According to the same poll, supporters of which UK Political Party (who were also interested in Doctor Who) were most enthusiastic about David Tennant’s Doctor? 


  1. The space suit worn by the astronaut in The Tenth Planet was later used in the original Star Wars Trilogy. Which character wore it and in which film? 
  2. Which Doctor was eaten at The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
  3. What creature, from a well known film franchise, does the Doctor examine briefly in Mindwarp – the second serial of The Trial of a Time Lord
  4. Which actor, who played a Doctor Who companion, previously starred as “Sir Lancelot” in the TV series of that name? 
  5. Which two actors who played characters central to Blake’s 7 appeared in Colin Baker’s first full season? 
  6. Double Negative, a special effects firm, were employed to work on Season 11. What sci-fi blockbuster, nay masterpiece, had they made their name on back in 2017? 
  7. What is the name of the eight-issue limited series comic book written by Scott and David Tipton, in which the Eleventh Doctor meets Star Trek: The Next Generation
  8. Which character from The Big Bang Theory wears a Fourth Doctor costume during the New Year’s Eve party in the episode The Justice League Recombination
  9. During Voyage of the Damned, the antagonist Max Capricorn, stutters over his name “Max”. Which 80s TV icon is this a reference to? 
  10. HG Wells’ books The Time Machine and the War of the Worlds occasionally feature in the Doctor’s onscreen adventures. Name two episodes in which one or other of these novels appear on screen.

Doctors 1-4 Answers

  1. Katy Manning
  2. Marco Polo Ep 2 (The Singing Sands)
  3. The Space Pirates
  4. The Wheel in Space
  5. 9
  6. Julia Smith
  7. Logopolis and The Horns Of Nimon
  8. He fell off the side of the mountain! (and survived)
  9. 16th Jan-22nd Jan
  10. 23rd March-29th March

Doctors 5-8 Answers

  1. Sophie Aldred, Sylvester McCoy and Anthony Ainley (20th August)
  2. The Six Doctors (The 1st Doctor was a robot double)
  3. The Lorells
  4. Hydromel
  5. One billion trillion trillion percent (or more, perhaps)
  6. 12(.47)
  7. Peter Sallis
  8. July and August 1985
  9. Classic: Jason Connery (Vengeance on Varos), Jonathon Morris (Snakedance), Christopher Villiers (The King’s Demons, also Mummy on the Orient Express), Marcus Gilbert (Battlefield).  SJA: Nigel Havers (The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith).  New: Anthony Head (School Reunion), Tim McInnerny (Planet of the Ood), Liam Cunningham (Cold War) and John Sessions (Mummy on the Orient Express)
  10. Gwendoline and Mrs Pritchard

Books and Comics Answers

  1. 2
  2. Timewyrm Apocalypse and Timewyrm Revelation-Apocalypse is derived from Revelation
  3. Richard Franklin
  4. Joanna Lumley’s 13th Doctor
  5.  A whifferdill
  6. The Silurians
  7. 4 (not including the one on TV, and there’s more in the audios!)
  8. Naomi Alderman
  9. Stockbridge
  10. Jamie McCrimmon

Spinoffs and spoofs Answers

  1. 936 years
  2. Adam Mitchell
  3. 2%
  4. Jason, Crystal and Zog
  5. The Iron Legion
  6. Revenge of the Slitheen or Secrets of the Stars
  7. Frostfire
  8. The Eleventh Hour
  9. Looking into the heart of a Dark Star
  10. Jasper

TARDIS Answers

Give the first story this console part made its appearance in:

  1. Immobiliser Circuit – Edge of Destruction
  2. Landing Indicator Bulb – The Web of Fear
  3. Chameleon Circuit Control Panel – Logopolis
  4. Randomiser – The Armageddon Factor
  5. TARDIS Information System – Castrovalva
  6. Transmission Jammer – Earthshock
  7. Stattenheim Control – The Two Doctors

Give the Medium, and the Doctor, this room of the TARDIS was first introduced with

  1. TARDIS Zoo – Comic (Changes, DWM)- Sixth Doctor
  2. TARDIS Cheese Factory – Comic (The Adventures of Strax & the Time Shark, DWA)- Twelfth Doctor
  3. TARDIS Kitchen – Shada – Fourth Doctor
  4. TARDIS Drawing Room – Game (TARDIS, The Adventure Games)- Eleventh Doctor
  5. TARDIS Laboratory – Novel (Echo, Short Trip)- Seventh Doctor

Monsters Answers

  1. Striking their probic vent, Coronic acid and removing the Terullian diode bypass transformer from their energy feeding unit.
  2. The Wheel in Space
  3. The Evil of the Daleks
  4. The Seeds of Doom –  It had been sprayed green.
  5. Slythers
  6. Tetrap and Sea Devil
  7. 3
  8. Vionesium
  9. Mission to Magnus and Ice Time
  10. Covent Garden

Oxford, Cambridge and other Universities Answers

  1. Glasgow University, 1888
  2. Emmanuel College, St John’s College
  3. Peter Cushing
  4. St Luke’s University in Bristol, Cardiff University
  5. (i) Prydonian chapter, (ii) Class of ’92, (iii) 51%, (iv) he passed on his second attempt.
  6. Botany, California State University
  7. Archaeology, Luna University
  8. Ancient Life on Ravalox
  9. San Francisco Institute of Technological Advancement and Research
  10. Girton College, Cambridge

Doctors 9-12 Answers

  1. 89% (24/27)
  2. 57% (12/21)
  3. Pete Tyler
  4. Francine Jones
  5. 23
  6. Paul Smith
  7. The British Boot Company
  8. Eleventh Doctor, The Eleventh Hour
  9. Twelfth Doctor, Death in Heaven
  10. ‘All traitors will die. Truth or consequences.’

The Thirteenth Doctor Answers

  1. Oh brilliant
  2. 12
  3. Paul Smith
  4. Alan Cumming
  5. The Parkhill Estate
  6. Dr Ally Sutton
  7. Rosa
  8. Spain
  9. Segun Akinola
  10. 7 (1. Peter Branchacki 2. Barry Newbery 3. Tom Yardley Jones 4. Richard Hudolin 5. Colin Richmond 6. Michael Pickwoad 7. Arwel Wyn Jones)

History and Politics Answers

  1. William Hartnell
  2. Jon Pertwee
  3. Denis Healey
  4. Helen A
  5. Ann Widdecombe
  6. David Tennant, Sean Pertwee
  7. Liberal Democrats
  8. UKIP
  9. Conservative
  10. Conservative

Crossovers Answers

  1. Bossk, The Empire Strikes Back
  2. Peter Davison
  3. A xenomorph (the alien from the film Alien)
  4. William Russell
  5. Jacqueline Pearce and Paul Darrow
  6. Blade Runner 2049
  7. Assimilation2
  8. Stuart
  9. Max Headroom
  10. Frontier in Space; The TV Movie; Shada

Word Grids

Grid 1

Grid 2

Tallying up

For a contest with such stakes on the line, you would’ve expected it to be a close race, reminiscent of the nailbiting tiebreak conclusion to the last quiz. On the day however, this was not to be. Despite an early lead by Cambridge, Oxford overtook within the first couple of rounds, and lead them for the rest of the quiz. By the time the scores were announced, Cambridge had mustered only 29 points to Oxford’s 55. Oxford pulled ahead of Cambridge for the first time in Varsity Quiz history, and became the first owners of the Trophy of Rassilon. Will we be able to keep up this streak? Find out, in 2020!

Tides 44 is, at time of publication, available to buy through this link


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